Does cycling lose weight and affect sex life? Get to know the myths and truths about cycling that have come up in cycling forums on the Internet.
The number of bicycle users has increased worldwide. In the United States, for example, the number of people cycling to work has grown 60 percent in the last decade, according to data from the June Census.
In Latin America, cities such as São Paulo, Mexico City and Bogotá have begun to implement public bicycle and bicycle paths, a trend that is repeated throughout the continent.
At the same time, myths have been raised in cycling forums on the Internet about cycling. The BBC shared the five main myths on polyhobbies.com. Well, look.
Does Your Bike Get Thin?
Cycling is an aerobic activity, the kind of exercise suitable for those who want to lose weight. The point is that weight loss depends on how many calories are lost and how many are consumed.
A study released by the British Medical Journal found that men and women who come to work actively (cycling, running or walking) have a significantly lower body mass index and body fat percentage than those who used another means of transport.
A person weighing 58 kg, for example, can burn between 170 and 250 calories if you pedal at a gentle pace. This number can reach more than 400, if the speed is moderate, or greater than 700 calories, if the pace is higher.
That is, riding a bike can help you lose weight, but it depends on the speed and diet made to complement the physical wear and tear.
Does Cycling Hurt Sex?
One of the biggest myths is related to the effects that cycling can have on users’ sexual lives. In the case of women, a study was published two years ago that questioned whether the position on the bicycle could cause numbness and loss of sensitivity in the genital area.
The Yale University School of Medicine study in the United States referred to the height of the handlebar relative to the seat. If it was smaller, it produced a greater pressure on the perineum and a smaller sensation in the pelvic floor, between the anus and the vagina.
But the researchers explained that this condition could be altered with a change in the handlebar position. And they argued that the study had only looked at a narrow group of women, and that further research would be needed with women who use the bicycle as a means of transportation.
Regarding men, there are several studies that show that cycling can cause genital disorders and erectile dysfunction. But the latest research, in which more than 5,000 cyclists were analyzed, found no association between cycle time and male infertility.
Does Cycling Help Reduce Pollution Levels?
It is clear that increasing the use of bicycles as a means of transport reduces the use of vehicles in cities. However, cyclists can inhale 2 to 5 times more pollutants than those who travel by car.
Studies by researcher Luc Int Panis of the Flemish Institute for Technological Research and Professor Jonathan Grigg of the London School of Medicine show that the reason for this is the rapid breathing of those who ride bicycles. This causes the cyclist to breathe more ultra-fine particles in the air, which are hundreds of thousands in a cubic centimeter at peak traffic.
Who Goes On A Bicycle With Knee Problems?
It depends on the position. Experts recommend that people research on the right size and posture to ride a bike.
The repetitive action of pedaling can cause great discomfort if the movement is not fluid, which is achieved by adjusting the seat at a suitable height. It is also advisable to start pedaling at a moderate pace and increase the intensity gradually.
Cycling is a low-impact exercise and therefore it is often recommended in the rehabilitation treatment of people who have suffered injuries. But experts in sports medicine recommend combining bicycle use with other types of sport with greater impact, such as running.
The goal is to develop different muscles and avoid problems in other parts of the body, such as joints and bones.
With A Helmet Or Without A Helmet?
British Olympic medalist Chris Boardman has released his list of priorities for cyclists and has ruled out wearing a helmet.
“What discourages people is that they feel as safe as walking on a bicycle. Statistically, [riding a bicycle] is safer than bathing.There is nothing wrong with helmets, but if only 0.5% of people use it in the Netherlands, which is one of the safest countries, it should be for a reason, “Boardman told the BBC.
This position has generated a number of criticisms and Boardman-which is part of a British government campaign to stimulate the use of bicycles-defended his position, highlighting the benefits of exercise rather than the risks of not wearing a helmet.
However, the US Highway Safety Institute reported that the majority of the 722 registered deaths among cyclists in 2012 were people who did not wear helmets.
According to the institute, helmets also reduced the risk of brain damage by 85%.